A small business may not have the same resources that a large company has. However, that may actually be an advantage for companies that want to expand quickly or want to establish a reputation for innovation. What are some tactics that you can use to turn a consistent profit no matter how small your company?
Empower Your Employees. When you first start, it may just be you, a couple of partners and a handful of employees tasked with creating a strong and profitable brand. This means that you will need everyone to come up with ideas and offer input to help grow the company. With so few people, it will be important that everyone is able to perform multiple roles, which may help you identify those who are true leaders who will help guide the company to success. Don’t be shy when it comes to showing your employees how valuable they are. Rewards to motivate employees may include cash bonuses, promotions or perks such as the use of a company car.
Get Your Customers to Work for You. Just like empowering your employees compels them to work harder for you, empowering your customers helps them become more loyal to your brand. For instance, you may allow your customers to take part in a contest that lets them name a new flavour of ice cream or the name of the corporate mascot. You could also consider paying a royalty to those who come up with products or services that become profitable.
Diversify Your Customer Base. While it may seem convenient to have one customer who provides most or all of your business, it creates instability in your business model. If that one client leaves, it could represent an immediate loss in revenue that could result in job losses or the company going under completely. Great ways to find customers include referrals from current customers, online marketing tactics and newspaper or radio ads.
Be Decisive. As you don’t have the same financial resources that larger companies have, you need to know when to cut your losses. If a product is losing money, it needs to be eliminated right away. If an employee is not performing well, he or she needs to be terminated before any more money is invested in training or paying that person. Hedging your bets or hesitating to make a decision could cost the company money or put it in debt that it might not be able to repay.
Running a small business can be a liberating experience for those used to working at large companies. Employees and managers alike are empowered to make decisions and fewer people need to be consulted prior to releasing a product or service. However, it is important to be decisive and aggressive when it comes to finding customers to ensure that there is enough money to run a successful organisation.